The Welsh Government has shown its commitment to protect wildlife and green spaces after rejecting plans to build an M4 relief road across the Gwent Levels.
According to The Wildlife Trusts, this decision keeps the green spaces of Newport intact. As well as the Government true to its promise of improving the wellbeing and prosperity of the people living in Wales, after it passed the world-leading wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act in 2015.
Ian Rappel, CEO of Gwent Wildlife Trust commented:
“We are delighted to hear the news that the Welsh Government has scrapped plans for the UK’s most ecologically damaging motorway scheme and congratulate First Minister Mark Drakeford on his decision.
“The Gwent Levels is Wales’ equivalent of the Amazon rainforest for sheer diversity of wildlife and it is vitally important that its endangered species like water voles, cranes and rare beetles are protected, and that people maintain their connection with – and access to – this fantastic wild haven.
“The decision comes after the Welsh Government declared a Climate Emergency. I hope that this decision becomes the catalyst for real change throughout Wales and beyond, to show that there are genuine alternatives to the destructive business-as-usual approach.”
The Wildlife Trusts believe that the natural world is the foundation of our wellbeing and prosperity. Yet, despite its fundamental role it is in a critical condition and the laws that have been put in place to protect it are failing. Urgent action is required and this decision by the Welsh Government is a step in the right direction. It ensures the protected landscape of the Levels remains protected, for wildlife and future generations.
Gwent Wildlife Trust has campaigned against the M4 proposal over the last couple of decades – with 30,000 people adding their voices in recent months, including celebrities Kelly Jones of Stereophonics and John Lydon from the Sex Pistols. The announcement shows that the Welsh Government has listened.